Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Robert Levy

Second Advisor

Nancy Holder

Third Advisor

Justin Tussing


We and the Woods is a collection of three short stories and an excerpt from the novel-in-progress The Spinney. Spanning a range of genres from horror to science fiction, these pieces explore our yearning for connection, the violence and grace of time, and the responsibilities we hold to ourselves, to our loved ones, and to the natural world.

"Come the Monsters" explores familial trauma and the slow journey towards acceptance of oneself as well as the fact that other people are, at heart, unknowable. "A Brief History of Dowsing" delves into violence against women on a scale that is both vast and claustrophobically intimate. "Endling" demands justice for the slow violence of climate change. Finally, The Spinney wonders whether connection is possible when truth is subjective, and what we owe the people and places we've hurt.

Together, they speak to the helplessness, the rage, and the stubborn desire to do better that damn and define us in equal measure.